After weeks of pre-order news hinting at its arrival, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is now finally available to buy. The 10.1-inch detachable laptop was first announced at CES in January and is set to fill a gap in the market for Chrome OS devices. That’s because Lenovo isn’t this as a Chrome OS tablet. Instead, it’s detachable with a case-based kickstand supporting its marketing as a laptop.
That free stop stand can be adjusted from 0- to 135-degrees and the keyboard is also intended to be comfortable, despite its diminutive size. That features a key pitch of 18mm with 1.3mm of key travel. With the case attached, the entire package weighs under a single pound.
The multi-fabric keyboard case, of course, ships with the device. So this is not, although it can be used that way, a tablet device. Instead, it’s meant to be an ultra-portable laptop in the same vein as netbooks. But it’s also meant to be a productivity powerhouse, with Chrome OS optimizations geared in that direction. That’s without losing its multi-purpose entertainment capabilities. The keyboard itself attaches via pogo-pins.
Beyond the keyboard, Lenovo’s latest Chromebook is an all-aluminum build. That can be pulled away from the keyboard for use in clamshell, tent, tablet, or stand modes.
Residing between the mid-range and budget markets
The concept behind the design of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook was that a productivity-ready device can be budget-friendly. For that reason, the company primarily focused on display quality, performance, and universal appeal.
On the latter front, for instance, this device adheres to the Universal Stylus Initiative standards. So any pressure-sensitive stylus that is also compatible with those standards will work on this device. Lenovo does plan to launch one of its own at some point for this gadget. But it isn’t ready to divulge the details of that just yet.
Under the hood, tucked behind the reduced-bezel 1920 x 1200 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio display panel, Lenovo is relying on MediaTek for processing. Specifically, that’s an octa-core MediaTek-built Helio P60T chipset. That’s backed by ARM G72 for graphics and 4GB LPDDR4x RAM.
Packed into the dual-tone Ice Blue and Iron Gray frame, Lenovo also includes dual speakers and a 2-megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera with an LED indicator. The back houses an 8-megapixel autofocus camera. That’s all paired with reasonably powerful speakers and dual microphones. The latter component will help keep video calls clear while also enabling better interaction with Google Assistant.
Looking past the claimed 10-hour battery life — despite this device’s size — Lenovo’s sole trade-off here seems to be in terms of ports. Only one USB-C port is included and that’s used for both charging and audio output. The company includes a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter. But there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack here.
Pricing and availability
Now, there are two price points for the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook from Lenovo. The primary difference, of course, is storage. The first of the two devices start out around $279. That nets buyers 64GB storage. A $20 bump in price doubles that to 128GB of storage. That puts the price at $299. In every other regard, the two Chromebooks are identical.
In terms of availability, this launch is expressly for the North America region. The device is being made available at Walmart, Lenovo’s online store, and at Best Buy. It’s already available at the latter two. Walmart will carry it “soon.”Buy Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook